Update: California prisoners’ call to end racial hostilities in prison and on the streets

California prisoners declared an end to racial hostilities beginning Oct. 10. LA youth have spread it to the streets. Unity disarms the guards and the cops of their most deadly weapon: divide and conquer. But prison authorities are spreading confusion. Please copy this story and mail it to all the prisoners you know.

http://sfbayview.com/2012/california-rises-to-prisoners-challenge-to-end-racial-hostilities/

California rises to prisoners’ challenge to end racial hostilities

October 14, 2012
by Mary Ratcliff

In the U.S., we not only encage 25 percent of the world’s prisonersmore than any nation in the history of the world and more Black people than were enslaved in 1850 – but we isolate at least 80,000 of them in solitary confinement. I contend that the purpose is to drive them mad; and after years of reading their letters, I believe they are targeted for this intense form of torture not because they are the worst of the worst but because they are the best and brightest.

In September, the Short Corridor Collective, prisoners confined to the SHU in Pelican Bay State Prison, one of the first and harshest examples of mass solitary confinement, sent out a historic call for racial hostilities to end in California prisons beginning Oct. 10.

Of the prisoners in the SHU, who are all “considered the most dangerous and influential (prisoners) in the state,” these men in the Short Corridor are “the leaders, what one authority called all the ‘alpha dogs,’” writes Nancy Mullane of KALW, who managed to get approval for a visit to the SHU – and even an interview with a SHU prisoner. In California, reporters’ access to prisoners is largely barred by law.

In a letterto prisoner advocates, these so-called “shot callers,” who prison officials say require isolation to prevent them from ordering prison murders, have shown their true colors. Writing “on behalf of all racial groups here in the PBSP-SHU Corridor,” they declare that “now is the time for us to collectively seize this moment in time and put an end to more than 20-30 years of hostilities between our racial groups.”

“Therefore,” they write, “beginning on Oct. 10, 2012, all hostilities between our racial groups in SHU, ad-seg, general population and county jails will officially cease.” With this call, prisoners who endure some of the world’s worst punishment have disarmed their jailers – disabling the most effective weapon in the Corrections Department arsenal: divide and conquer. Continue reading

On caste atrocities that are taking place across India

Resolution of the All India Executive Committee, Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF) — (approved at meeting in Delhi, 1-2 August 2012)

Several incidents of caste atrocities on Dalits have been committed by the dominant caste forces in different parts of the country – spanning from Bolangir of Odisha to Lakshimpeta of Andhra Pradesh and recently in Bhagana in Haryana, in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and in other places. While the massacre of five Dalit peasants in a gruesome manner in Lakshimpeta village by dominant caste landowners and rich peasants have shaken the country, other incidents of casteist attacks like the burning of houses and assault on 60 dalit families in Bolangir or the social boycott and banishing of 128 Dalit families in Bhagana have not attracted much attention from the progressive and democratic sections of the country. In Lakhsimpeta, the landed section of the Backward Caste Kapus have adopted the brahmanical ideology as a result of their acquisition of private property – most importantly, land, and became perpetrators of caste violence on the ‘untouchable’ Mala people. Lakshimpeta massacre also involves the questions of dam and displacement, since the people of the village are evictees of a dam constructed by the government. While other evictees got compensation and land from the government, Dalits could get nothing and lost everything due to this forced displacement. Continue reading